Righto, hopefully this posts OK as I'm on holiday. As an alternative post, this is a rather great post on CCP's Eve development strategy and whether they are going in the right direction.
Vengeance – Part 9
The capsuleer's badger class industrial approached the station. He'd not flown an industrial ship in over a year. It's hold was full hazardous materials. His manifest had stated the cargo was fuel for a capsuleer control tower. Even the capsuleers were scanned by customs occasionally and questions would be asked why he was carrying so much hazardous fuel. A scan is all they would do too. There were very few customs officials that would be prepared to do a detailed search of a 4000 cubic metres of hazardous materials on their salaries The cargo he carried nicely masked the small package in the centre of the hold from the customs ships scans. The small container secured in a shield case held less than 50 millilitres in volume, but had cost him more than the ship he was flying.
The ship jolted slightly as the tractor beams locked onto the ship and eased it into the station and into one of the capsuleer hangers. The capsuleer was a bit disappointed to be back in a dull grey, but functional, Caldari station. He had much preferred the Gallente station he had last stayed on. The Minmatar station he last visited was a quick in-and-out visit. As he expected, the Bull had been particularly stupid and easy to lead into the trap that cost him his life.
Meeka "Horse" Vasges smiled, this was going to be a fantastic night. He'd gone out for a drink as normal but this time had scored straight away, in his favourite bar too! He had met the two gorgeous women as he ordered his first drink at the bar. They wasted no time in starting the flirting and had been all over him from the start. At first he thought they were in competition with each other, seeing who could take him home. He'd been wrong, they had expressed a wish to share him together tonight and now the drink was flowing freely.
Meeka was desperately trying to think of an excuse to get these women back to his quarters, but he didn't want to appear desperate. In the end he didn't have to come up with any excuse.
"Soooooo." purred the Minmatar beauty "When are we going back to yours?"
"Yes!" joined in the Gallente stunner "I want some real fun!"
"Well ladies" smile Horse, "Let's go!"
They took a hover-taxi back to Horse's quarters. As soon as they were inside the two women were kissing each other and ripping off their clothes. Horse just stood there dumbstruck. He had a massive stupid smile plastered over his face and had whispered a silent thank you to his good luck that was making this come true for him. He undressed clumsily where he stood as he watched the two women who were now on his bed making out with each other. When he was finished undressing they looked at him and gasped!
"I think so, but I think we need to be in charge!"
Horse smiled. He liked the sound of that. The two women grinned and led him over to the bed. Using the discarded belts and stockings they tied him to the bed. Once he was secure, they gathered their clothes in silence and left.
"OI! Get back here! You cannot leave me like this! Get back here you bitches!"
There was movement, a man entered his bedroom.
"Who the frack are you?"
"You don't really know me Horse. You knew my wife though." said the capsuleer as he placed a bag on the table. He withdrew two strange arm-length gloves made of some type of flexible shiny metallic material and started pulling them on. Horse became afraid.
"Dude! Look I have partied with many women. They don't tell me they are married! I ain't done nothing wrong!"
"You've done nothing wrong? Oh, how about in the Onnamon system?"
It took several seconds of thinking for Horse to realise.
"No! We killed you!"
The capsuleer rolled his eyes "I'm immortal, idiot!"
The capsuleer removed a sealed case and carefully undid the clasps.
"Look man! I was following the captains orders!" Horse was struggling in his bonds. However it was futile. The women the capsuleer had employed through the agent had done a good job in making sure he was secured. They had been proffesionals in more than one sense of the word.
The capsuleer removed what looked like a spray vaporiser gingerly. He held it up in front of his face as if he was studying it carefully.
"Nanite technology. It's wonderful isn't it. They can repair ship systems, fix 1600mm thick armour plates, devourer waste, and can even be used as a weapon. Nanites constructed to consume human tissue and a small vaporiser this size can reduce a grown man to nothing but a foul smelling vapour in less than 30 seconds."
Horse started to cry.
"But these, ah, these ones aren't as fast. They've been slowed down specially for you. These ones take their time! They work very slowly."
And with that the capsuleer gave a short spray on the body part that gave Horse his name. Horse was panicking but felt nothing as the capsuleer packed up and left the room.
A minute later Horse felt a tingling sensation. Then the pain arrived. It took over an hour until the nanites had consumed through enough flesh to open an artery in his thigh and kill him, and he had screamed in agony for every second of it.
"Helena Wateen, please to meet you captain."
"Please, call me Zian. A captain has to have a ship, and with me being here, well you can probably guess what happened to mine!"
Helena laughed causing Zian to smile. She looked around his age, Gallente with sharp cheekbones and a slender body. They had just met in the makeshift bar that had been constructed in a spare store room at Hotel Egg. Thankfully one of the rescued cooks from liked a drink. He'd managed to build a still and used ingredients from the kitchen stores to make the bars only drink, Gabo's God-awful Green Grog. It was a very strong moonshine that made Minmatar spirits taste smooth in comparison. But it was strong and also it was all they had.
Zian found himself enjoying himself for the first time since he got here.
As the night wore on the bar patrons started to disburse. Helena turned to the Captain.
"Hey, Zian. Look, I, er, don't usually do this. But. Would you like to come back to my room?"
Zian smiled and stood, taking her by her hand. As they left the bar he looked around at the last of the crew remaining.
"Who are you capsuleer?" He thought to himself. "Why are you doing this? And more importantly, where are you now?"
In terms of light years, nobody could say at the distance between the capsuleer and the facility at that moment. He was sat in a cloaked ship watching a vast fleet. He had to admire the supercarrier sat at the heart just positioned off the gravity distortion. That is what led him here. He had spent weeks searching for this, and when he'd got to the right system the beacon had shown up immediately on his overview. Everyone who entered the system knew there was something there, just not exactly what it was. If they warped wrong, then they would be confronted by a fearsome sight. His plan was almost complete. He had the waypoints programmed into his computer. Now all he had to do was to lead the chase. The ship aligned invisibly against the unfamiliar pattern of stars and nebulae and warped to one of those waypoints.
"His WHAT was eaten by nanites?" Gantor held his head in his hands. It felt that everytime his aide entered his office these days it was to report another horrific death.
"The medical staff say it was one of the most horrific deaths they have dealt with. They were all men by the way. The nanites started on his, well you know his handle. Once they had finished with that it was other parts in the region. He finally died when they opened up an artery in his thigh and he bled to death."
"Any luck tracking down Jorn?"
"No sir. His ship was due back 48 hours ago. I think we can assume...."
"Don't assume! Find him. We need to know, I need to know what really happened on the Night Terror that day. He's the last one who can give me an answer."
"Yes sir, but given that he's over-due I think we can assume the capsuleer has got him. However I will ask the station Comms Officer to continue trying to hail him."
"Sorry? What did you say?"
"I said, sir, I'll ask the Comms Officer....."
"Never mind, just give me the complete crew manifest for the Night Terror."
"Yes sir, sending to your datapad now!"
Gantor scrolled down until he reached the Night Terrors Communications Officer at the time of the incident.
"Well dad. Let's see if you were right." he said under his breath.